This paper focuses on some potential ethical dilemmas associated with the Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM), drawing on existing BNIM literature, other qualitative research literature and insights drawn from the authors’ experiences of using the method. There are several ethical issues central to biographical interviewing, including the potential for re-traumatising participants. We argue this potential is heightened when deploying a central BNIM technique ‘Pushing for PINs’. In this article we therefore analyse the evolution, philosophical underpinnings, principles and techniques of BNIM. We evaluate BNIM’s usefulness and allure, in terms of generating vivid data which can lead to deeper knowledge and improved services for under-researched and marginalised groups, whilst stressing that more attention needs to be devoted to identifying and mitigating ethical dilemmas.
- Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method